About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Monday, July 29, 2013

C is for COURAGE

Life requires courage

I'm not talking about facing such disasters as earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, epidemics, and floods.  I'm not talking about the courage to board an airplane or a train or the courage to drive a car.  I'm not talking about the courage to fight off a stranger who is trying to abduct your child or rob you of your precious possessions.

I'm talking about the courage to face everyday life.  And in everyday life, one might need to face an abusive childhood or marriage, the death of a loved one, loss of job, or a serious illness.  I'm talking about the courage to tactically back away from a confrontation rather than to mindlessly attack. 

Courage is not the absence of fear; rather, it is the ability to move forward despite the fear.  Courage is the empowering experience of a decision to stand up and withstand the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." (from Shakespeare's Hamlet)

I've been told by a few people that I'm a courageous person.  Huh?  Upon contemplation, I realize that I have, indeed, confronted a great deal of hardship in my life, yet I persevere.  I have also been asked from where I get the courage to continue in my life with such an optimistic attitude.  Well, I guess I was just born that way.

What have I had to endure so far?  Hmmm...an abusive childhood, the loss of a child, the mental illness and subsequent suicide of my husband, a few serious medical situations that weren't life-threatening but pretty painful all the same, the diagnosis of my second daughter with Bipolar 2, and then just when things were looking really super, (reconnecting with my first love) he was diagnosed with cancer.  The first go-round almost destroyed us, but this time we're aware of the dangers of losing each other, so are working hard to get through this together.

Then again, I've been told I showed great courage in traveling on my own or with people I hadn't met before to foreign countries.  That surprised me - I mean I know I'm pretty smart as well as savy and would never take any chances.   And I've had so much fun doing it.  Here's me with a new friend in London. I went right up to him and said, "You're gorgeous!" And we went for a short walk.  (click to enlarge)

So, I'm not afraid of storms, flying, or criminals.  I've seen and experienced the worst and have survived!  No matter what life throws at me, I will stand up and move forward despite my fear.

I am woman!  Hear me roar!  "Oh yes, I am wise/But it's wisdom born of pain/Yes, I've paid the price/ But look how much I gained/If I have to, I can do anything/I am strong/I am invincible/I am woman" (Helen Reddy, 1975)

Here are a few quotes I found while researching the topic of courage:

You can gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along."  (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.  (John Wayne)

Courage is grace under pressure.  (Ernest Hemingway)

I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.  (Nelson Mandela)

Be assured I'm not looking for sympathy or pats on the back.  I just say it like it is.  If you are so inclined, perhaps you'd like to share an experience where you needed to be courageous in everyday or even in not so everyday life. 

Thanks to the captivating Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and to Roger who currently and very capably administers the weekly workings of the site. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

B is for Blooming Beauties

Welcome to the second week of the 13th round of ABC Wednesday, created by Denise, administered by Roger, and assisted by a team of ABCW'ers.  This week is brought to you by the letter B, a letter with a barrage of brilliant nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.  Remember last week when I brought you the word "alliteration" for the letter A?  Well, here are some examples using the letter B:

Barney & Barbie went broke as Barney & Barbie bought Billy's basement for billions of bucks.
The big brown bear bothered the busy beehive.
Beth & Bella bought brown bags of bananas before buying black boots for Becky.
Basil the bubbly basset bounced on the bright blue ball and barked.

Okay, 'nuff of that.  Because it's summer now, and most people's gardens are in full blooming mode, I thought I'd put together a little slideshow of my own flowers aka "blooming beauties."  All the photos and 99% of the flowers are mine, but if the photo was taken someplace other than my own garden, I have indicated that.  I hope you enjoy it because when I went searching for photos, it made me realize just how lucky I am to have a wonderful man who enjoys gardening simply because it gives me pleasure. This is a favourite shot of a butterfly beside my hanging basket that I luckily captured one day in June.

Be sure to turn up your sound for the background ambience. Have a beautiful and blessed week!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Monday, July 15, 2013


Welcome to Round 13 of ABC Wednesday!  I'd like to give accolades to Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABCW, to Roger Green, our Administrator, and to the entire team of ABCW members who regularly visit contributers to give comments and kudos.  Please encourage friends to give us a try and remind them that they don't have to start at the letter A or even post every week.  I especially applaud those of you have been with us for years; it's great to feel as though you "know" people and look forward each week to seeing what they share with the group.

This week, I am giving you A is for Alliteration.  This is a literary device when a series of words in a row (or close to a row) have the same first consonant sound. For example, “She sells sea-shells by the sea-shore” or “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers” are both alliterative phrases. In the former, all the words start with the “s” sound, while in the later, the letter “p” takes precedence. Aside from tongue twisters, alliteration is also used in poems, song lyrics, and even store or brand names.

Two weeks ago, I attended the village's first market of the season and as I wandered around, I noted that many signs used alliteration for the name of their business.  As a writing teacher and as an afficionada of grammar, these signs almost attacked me with their originality!  So, I give you Round 13, Post #1 for A.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Friday, July 05, 2013

Z is for ZANY

Since both Canada and the United States of America have just celebrated their birthdays, I thought I'd tell you some zany things about my homeland. When most people think of Canada, they think hockey, bacon, hockey, maple syrup, hockey, beer, and oh, did I mention hockey?  Well, once you get past the stereotypes of beer and hockey, you find out just how diverse Canada is....and weird and zany!

1. In Dawson City, Yukon, there's a "Sourtoe Cocktail Club." For just $10 (Cdn) you can join the club and have a shot of whiskey.  Easy peasy, right?  Not so quick!  There has to be a pickled human toe in the drink!  The club's motto?  "You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow - but the lips have gotta touch the toe!"  Zany, huh?

2. Apparently, we eat more macaroni and cheese than any other nation on earth.  At least we don't usually eat human toes!

3. The only walled city left in the USA or Canada is Quebec City.  The signs can tell unwanted visitors to keep out in French and in English!

4.  Remember when Canada won the Olympic Gold Hockey in 2010 and beat the USA in overtime?  It's not really a zany fact, but I thought I'd mention it anyway!

5.  Canada has more donut shops per capita than the USA...except they're simply called Tim Horton's. And we LOVE to eat donut holes!

6.  IMAX was created in Canada.  That means all those high-priced tickets are because of us.  Sorry.

7.  Canada ranks first in the use of the internet.  We all need something to do during the hockey intermissions, so this shouldn't be too surprising.

8.  Canada is made up of 6 different time zones.  And in each time zone, the Vancouver Canucks have never won it, except way back in 1914/1915 when the team was called the Vancouver Millionaires. By the way, no sour toes, oops - I mean grapes, to the Boston Bruins for winning the cup this year!

9.  Coffee Crisp chocolate bars are a Canadian creation and are rare in the USA.  We love to eat our Coffee Crisps near American tourists really really slowly, pretending like it's the most amazing thing in the world!

10. The "Ogopogo" is BC's favourite mythological creature.  Apparently, it got its name from a British song from 1924 called The Ogo-Pogo: The Funny FoxTrot.  According to the lyrics, the Ogopogo loves to play a banjo that can charm other animals.  Also, its mother was an earwig and its father was a whale.  The mating ritual sounds like it'd be pretty zany!
I know we Canadians have a reputation for being conservative and veddy veddy polite, but all in all, we can be a pretty zany bunch!  Happy 146th Birthday, Canada!

Thanks to the zesty Mrs. Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and to the zealous Roger, our administrator for their zany efforts at keeping the fun going.  A new round starts next week, so please encourage your friends, families, and even total strangers to try us out. Just remind them to read and follow the rules and guidelines on our home page!  By the way, how do I look modelling casual clothes on the cover of the "StylZ" magazine?  How many Zs can you see?